With malpractice damages capped in Texas, lawyers are turning on themselves for cases:

Now that tort reform has capped certain malpractice damages against doctors, lawyers have become more enticing targets.

A recent case won by Joe Jamail against John O'Quinn "“ two of the heaviest heavyweights in Texas law "“ shows how much times have changed.

The high-powered plaintiff attorneys squared off after a landmark breast implant ...

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A small but growing number are going to Mexico for cheaper nursing home care:

"With the right facilities in place, Mexico could give (American retirees) a better quality of life at a better price than they could find" in the U.S. However, Larry Minnix, president of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, said that the lack of government regulation could place residents of smaller Mexican nursing ...

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File under, zero surprise:

People in the United States are living in a world of pain and they are popping pills more than ever to cope with it.

The amount of five major painkillers sold at retail establishments rose 88% between 1997 and 2005, according to an Associated Press analysis of statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

More than 200,000 pounds of codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and ...

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Easier said than done.

Suing your doctor

Doctors take it personally, despite what lawyers claim:

They aren't suing doctors and small business owners or citizens unfortunate enough to have had an auto accident. They're suing insurance companies. But, I can assure you, it isn't the insurance company that sits in a court of law accused of malfeasance.

Health courts redux

Give them a chance, says Mark Crane. Great op-ed:

Juries of ordinary citizens generally aren't asked to decide complex legal disputes about maritime cases, tax law, bankruptcy, workers' compensation, divorce and child custody matters. And for good reason. While the principle of trial by jury is sacrosanct in America, basic fairness and common sense demand that such highly technical issues require expertise from witnesses and judges experienced in dealing ...

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(via Pharmalot)

Chaperones in the ER

Some people are so unhelpful.

More on the dying art of the physical exam:

Physical examination provides diagnostic accuracy and reduces the cost of unnecessary testing. More importantly it increases the patient's confidence and enhances the relationship.
Dr. Rob with more.

US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt starts a government-approved blog. (via The Antidote)

Makes sense on paper, but as always, it's not always that cut and dry:

But Ms. Foster said that some of the conditions cited by Medicare officials were not entirely preventable. Commenting on the proposed rules in June, the American Hospital Association said, "Certain patients, including those at the end of life, may be exceptionally prone to developing pressure ulcers, despite receiving appropriate care."

In most states, ...

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AMNews catches up with the Flea story and physician blogging. (via Turkewitz)

Vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC) can have risks, including uterine rupture. Because of this malpractice risk, some OBs refuse to do them:

But she says she was shocked when at eight months pregnant, her doctor's office, Simmonds and Simmonds in Frederick, gave her a letter telling her they were letting her go. They said it was because she challenged the use of a fetal heart monitor during labor ...

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Nurses and doctors

We're really all on the same side.

Our primary care leaders gets in bed with UnitedHealth. Smart, or a deal with the devil?

Many say that the UK's NHS provides cheaper health care. Not so, when waiting times are factored in:

When he eventually receives the surgery the official cost is $6,000 or $4,000 cheaper than the U.S. The socialists crow about the "cheaper" alternative. They completely ignore the lost wages. A four month wait would be around 17 weeks of lost wages. There is the one week recuperation period as ...

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They poached one of the WSJ writers to start their new blog:

Wall Street Journal Health columnist Tara Parker-Pope is defecting to the New York Times to write a health blog and a consumer health column for Science Times.

Why Canada's health care is cheaper:

America spends significantly more on medical care than Canada. Socialized medicine advocates frequently claim that this shows we are getting a bad deal: less care for more money. But the fact is that illegal alien mothers walk into hospital emergency rooms and give birth to babies requiring intensive neonatal care costing hundreds of thousands of dollars on a regular basis, and it makes ...

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Read to believe:

A seat belt saved a driver, police say, but not in the usual way. Steven Earp, 48, was eating a fast-food sandwich Wednesday morning, said police Sgt. Doug Mozan. Earp choked and blacked out. His 1997 Honda sedan hit a parked car.

After the wreck, Earp came to.

Mozan attributed his revival to a "seat-belt-induced Heimlich maneuver."

Fake heart, no feeling

Grateful owner of the first Jarvik artificial heart, he seems to have lost his emotions:

At the same time, he reports, he's become more "coldhearted" -- "less sympathetic in some ways." He just doesn't feel like he can connect with those close to him. He wishes he could bond with his twin grandsons, for example. "They're 8, and I don't want to be bothered to have a reasonable relationship ...

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